For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4
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JOSHUA - CHAPTER 5

 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2000 James Melough

5:1.  "And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel."

Having crossed the Jordan, the Israelites must now begin to take possession of the land given them by God's promise; and as noted already, this pictures the position of the believer who would enjoy all that is made available to him through Christ's death and resurrection.

Its being said that, "their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more," reminds us that the evil spiritual forces opposing our taking possession of the riches that are ours in Christ, are already defeated, Christ having vanquished them by His death at Calvary.  The Canaanites' security had lain in the "Jordan (which) overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest" (3:15); and they had just seen God sweep their defense away by dividing that flood, so that His redeemed people could cross over on dry ground.  But we have seen that miracle to be a type of the Lord's defeat of Satan through the destruction of his ultimate weapon, death, represented by the Jordan.  As the Israelites were assigned the task of exterminating an already defeated foe, so are we assigned a similar task.  The foe has been defeated already by Christ's entering into the waters of death, and rising out of them again, thus manifesting His power over them.  We are to "exterminate" (put out of our lives) all that the Canaanites represent: the world, the flesh, and the devil.

The Amorite meaning a sayer represents false profession, and his being in Canaan, symbolic of the sphere into which faith brings the believer, warns us that there are amongst God's people today those who also profess to be His, though they have never been born again.  All such are the enemy of Christ and of those who belong to Him.  Elders need to exercise great care relative to the reception of those seeking fellowship in the local assembly over which God has set them as shepherds.  A very necessary part of the elders' work is to guard against the intrusion of Satan's wolves and tares amongst God's sheep and wheat.  Carelessness in this has wrought havoc in the professing church, so much so that in many a local church there are more spiritual "Amorites" than "Israelites."

The enemy is described as being "on the side of Jordan westward."  As discussed already, the west in Scripture represents approach to God, and significantly it is westward that Israel must go if she would take possession of her God-given inheritance, but the presence of the enemy west of Jordan continues to remind us that the lesson God would have us learn is that the foe is in our midst: it is not only the world and the devil outside, it is the old nature still within each one of us.  The lesson of the Amorite therefore comes closer to home.  Does the flesh so control me that my Christian life is mostly talk, but without the confirmation of the good works that should accompany salvation?  Questions we might well ask ourselves are, Have I read, studied, and meditated on God's Word today?  How much time have I spent before God in earnest prayer today?  What witness have I borne for Christ?  What have I done to spread the Gospel?  Have I even given someone a tract?  Have I ministered in any way to another believer today?  Have I earnestly prayed by name for those who serve God as evangelists, elders, and teachers; by name for believers who are sick, old, unemployed, bereaved, lonely; by name for young believers, that God will provide them with suitable marriage partners if it is His will for them to marry?

Honest answers to these questions may indicate that the "Amorite" is still in control of large areas of my life, in spite of God's command to exterminate him.  It is painfully obvious in fact that the professing church has left the foe in undisputed possession of "Canaan," with the result that we are not only impoverished spiritually, but that we are living under the dominion of the enemy.  If this is true of us, our guilt is compounded by reason of the fact that we are following in Israel's rebellious footsteps, in spite of having the record of her folly to warn us against such madness.

The second foe mentioned in this verse is the Canaanite, it being necessary to note that while Canaanite was the general name for all the tribes of the land, there seems to have been a particular tribe to which that name belonged.  It means a trafficker in the bad sense of the word, i.e., one engaged in illicit trading; and in the light of what we have just been considering, the lesson of the Canaanite is easily read.  He represents those professing to be believers, but who are in fact mere "traffickers," trading in spiritual things for temporal gain.  Christendom is full of them. Wherever you have the evangelist, the elder, the teacher, ministering merely for money, seeking temporal gain, glory, advancement, etc., you have the equivalent of the Canaanite. 

A question we should each ask ourselves, and answer honestly before God, is, What is the true motive impelling whatever service I may be rendering?  If it isn't love for the Lord, and for men and women, then I am a Canaanite, a mere trafficker in spiritual things.  Remember, the Canaanites were in Canaan, the land that represents the sphere of faith.  These Canaanites represent the enemy inside the professing church.  Each Canaanite tribe represents a characteristic of the flesh in the believer, in me.  What is written in this book is not merely to furnish historical information: it is to instruct us relative to our spiritual warfare with the forces of darkness.

"... which were by the sea" has also its lesson.  The sea is the Scriptural symbol of earth's unconverted masses in their restless rebellion against God, see Isa 57:20, "The wicked (unconverted) are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt."  The Canaanites "by the sea" therefore portray professed believers in relation to the unconverted, and the warning is that there can be "trafficking" even in what purports to be evangelism.  The television and radio "evangelists" continually appealing for money, are not the only "Canaanites by the sea," however: the "trafficking" may be more subtle.  My evangelistic work  may be prompted more by a secret desire for the approval of men than for the salvation of souls and the glory of God.

"... their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel," presents us with the antidote for the evil portrayed by the spiritual Amorite and Canaanite.  The manifestation of God's power put forth on behalf of His people was what had induced the fear in the heart of the foe.  But what had led God to exercise His power on behalf of Israel?  Obedience!  They had obeyed Him, and the result was that He blessed them.  It was the same in the early days of the Apostolic church. Read again the blessed results of that obedience in the early chapters of Acts, and then look at the results relative to the unconverted: "And of the rest durst no man join himself to them" (Ac 5:13).  Those early believers walked in the fear of the Lord, and maintained His enjoined separation between themselves and the unconverted.  It is very different today.  The professing church has become a religious social club for the entertainment of saint and sinner alike.  The unconverted are not only unafraid to intrude: they are warmly welcomed, and are happy to be there, so that believer and unbeliever, Israelite and Canaanite, walk together in spite of what is written in God's Word, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3), and "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord...." (2 Co 6:14-18).

The foe won't fear us and flee before us until we fear God, and manifest that reverential fear by walking in obedience before Him.  

5:2.  "At that time the Lord said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time."

"The second time" refers, not to a second circumcision, but to the fact that the generation that had grown up in the wilderness hadn't been circumcised. The necessity for the circumcision of that second generation is apparent when we remember that this physical cutting off of the flesh represents the cutting off of the activity of the old nature still in the believer.  That activity is always sinful, and since sin separates us from God's blessing, and makes us instead the recipients of chastisement, the need of this outward symbol of inward obedience is apparent.

5:3.  "And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins."  

5:4.  "And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt."  

5:5.  "Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised."  

5:6.  "For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord: unto whom the Lord sware that he would not shew them the land, which the Lord sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey."  

5:7.  "And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way."

Since they were newly arrived in the land of an enemy who might be expected to attack at any moment, obedience to this command was humanly speaking, folly; but to the spiritual mind it is folly to disobey God.  Physical circumcision, apart from a changed heart, has no value in God's sight, as is made clear in such Scriptures as Ro 2:28-29, "For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter."

Before Israel could overcome any foe, and possess any part of Canaan, there must be submission to the rite that was meant to be the outward sign of an obedient heart.  The pain associated with physical circumcision reminds us that the cutting off of the deeds of the old nature may be equally painful. An obedient walk sometimes requires that things very dear to us  must be "cut off" from our lives.

That circumcision apart from an obedient heart, was worthless, is revealed in verses 4-6.  In spite of their having been circumcised, that first generation that came out of Egypt, died in the wilderness because they lacked the faith to enter Canaan at God's command.  That faithless disobedient generation represents both the old nature, and the religious, but unconverted professor, "... having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" (2 Tim 3:5).  Such was the Israel to which Christ came two thousand years ago.  This principle: the rejection of the first, and the blessing of the second, Heb 10:9, pervades Scripture, and declares the necessity of a new birth.  The first represents what man is by natural birth - he is flesh, of which it is written, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Co 15:50), because "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.... Ye must be born again" (Jn 3:6-7).

The practical lesson is that mere conformity to an outward ordinance means nothing unless the heart is right with God.  The Jew, circumcised, and punctilious in his outward observance of the law, was nevertheless rejected because in heart he was estranged from God.  Christians too may be careful with regard to baptism and the Lord's supper (the two ordinances given to the Church), and yet in heart be very far from God.

The circumcision of that second generation represents a truth that relates to every believer.  Their crossing Jordan, whose waters God had miraculously divided, is the symbolic declaration of the truth that the believer has died vicariously in Christ, as it is written, "And ye are complete in Him ... in whom also ye are circumcised (cut off) with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision (cutting off) of Christ, (that is, His death): buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him...." (Col 2:10-12).

As has been noted already, however, it is in the crossing of the Red Sea that our dying is symbolically emphasized; and in the crossing of the Jordan, while there is still the figure of death, the emphasis is upon our association with Christ in resurrection.  "If ye then be risen with Christ (and resurrection implies that we had died), seek those things which are above.... Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead (have died), and your life is hid with Christ in God.... Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth"

(Col 3:1-5).  The circumcision of Israel at Gilgal is the typical illustration of this truth.  The practical lesson of their being circumcised is that if there is to be victory there must be the cutting off of the deeds of the flesh.  Sin, which is disobedience, and victory in the Christian warfare, cannot coexist.  The disobedient spiritual Israelite (the believer) can no more enjoy spiritual blessings, than could the disobedient literal Israelite, who in spite of being circumcised, never tasted Canaan's milk and honey.

The generation that died in the wilderness had been circumcised, but they never entered Canaan; and had failed to circumcise the children who had grown up in the wilderness, a fact which reminds us that it is possible for us to grow careless in keeping the flesh where it belongs - in the place of death - so that we gradually become, outwardly at least, just like the unsaved around us.  But a further truth is also declared in their negligence.  That first generation, like all Biblical firsts, represents the flesh, what we are by natural birth, hence the lesson being taught symbolically in their not entering Canaan: the flesh has no part in spiritual things, no place in the sphere represented by Canaan.  But their being representative of the flesh explains the spiritual significance of their failure to circumcise their children: the flesh will never cut off the deeds of the flesh.

5:8.  "And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in camp, till they were whole."

Their obedience in submitting to being circumcised is indicative of a very high degree of faith, for as noted already, they had just entered a Canaan filled with their enemies; and their being circumcised rendered them incapable of defending themselves against those foes.  Their obedience, in fact declared not only the "cutting off" of all confidence in themselves, but of their having an implicit confidence in God.  This is the OT foreshadowing of Php 3:3, God's ideal for every believer, "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh."

The justification of their confidence is seen in that "They abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole," and the God in Whom they had demonstrated their trust, honored that confidence by preserving them from attack.  This is the demonstration of the principle annunciated in the promise of Ex 34:24, "For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the Lord they God thrice in the year."  We lose nothing, and gain what is priceless, God's approval, when we honor Him with our obedience, putting Him first in all things.

5:9.  "And the Lord said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you.  Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal rolling: a wheel unto this day."

"The reproach of Egypt" is understood by most commentators to refer to the fact that their former state had been one of bondage, as was ours before faith in Christ brought deliverance.  Since circumcision represents the cutting off of the deeds of the flesh, its being described also as the "rolling away of the reproach of Egypt" - that reproach being their former bondage - reminds us that the deeds of the flesh are associated with our unconverted state, and should have no part in our lives as new creatures in Christ.  

The fact that the place had been called Gilgal long before this, is the assurance that foreknowledge is one of God's attributes, for obviously He had caused it to be so named in anticipation of that day when it became invested with a completely new significance.  But since Gilgal is a figure of Calvary the greater truth being presented is that He had Calvary in mind long before the world was formed.

The night spent by Israel in Egypt between the slaying of the passover lamb, and their going out the next morning, is analogous to our earthly experience as to our bodies; their years in the desert are typical of our earthly experience as to our souls; and their experiences in Canaan are the counterpart of our earthly experience as to our spirits.  The lesson therefore of the failure of that first circumcised generation to leave the desert and enter Canaan, is that we may fail to progress beyond what is represented by their desert experience.  We fail to rise above an experience that relates to our bodies and souls, into one that affects our spirits.  We fail to live according to what is true of us in the reckoning of God, namely, that in Christ we have been "cut off" from our former bondage, and are now free, as risen with Christ, to enter into the enjoyment of the spiritual riches that are ours in Him. 

The circumcision of that first generation represents our spiritual position according to God's reckoning; but we are called upon to make good in our  experience what is true of us according to that reckoning.  The circumcision of the second generation at Gilgal represents the experience of those believers who do make good in practice what is true of them by divine reckoning: they live as those who are "dead (cut off) indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Ro 6:11). 

The command to "circumcise again the children of Israel the second time, Jos 5:2, that is, to circumcise that second generation, is the symbolic announcement of the truth that without the cutting off of the deeds of the flesh the believer cannot enter into the enjoyment of the spiritual riches made available to him through Christ's death. It is one thing to be "dead unto sin" in the reckoning of God, but quite another thing to make that reckoning true in our lives.  It is one thing to be "alive unto God" in the reckoning of God, but a very different thing to live according to that truth.  The life of many a believer demonstrates that he is "dead," his life consisting of nothing more than a negative abstention from sin.  But there is more to Christianity than just refraining from evil: there is the positive living unto God.  We are to demonstrate not only that we are "dead" to our former state, but also that we are "alive" spiritually as a new creation.  The circumcision of the first generation emphasizes the former; that of the second generation, the latter.  As those who are "alive unto God," we gladly "cut off" the deeds of the flesh so that we may produce righteousness.  It isn't just by abstention from sin, but by the production of righteousness that we demonstrate that we are alive unto God. 

That second generation, circumcised at Gilgal, and now in Canaan, represents those, who "dead to sin, but alive unto God," enter into the enjoyment here on earth of those spiritual riches which they will enjoy in even fuller measure in heaven.  They, as circumcised men going in to take possession of their inheritance in Canaan, represent those who live according to the truth of Col 3:1-5, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those thing which are above ... set your minds on things above, not on the things that are upon the earth ... your life is hid with Christ in God.... Mortify (put to death, cut off) therefore, your members which are upon the earth."

The believer's state, according to God's reckoning, is represented by the crossing of Jordan; but his giving practical expression to that state is represented by the circumcision of each man at Gilgal.  Scroggie is worth quoting in this connection, "Become what you are .... We should die because we are dead; we should live because we are alive; we should conquer because we have won.... What we should recognize is the fact, and that recognition will lead us to act," Joshua in the Light of the New Testament, p.24.

5:10.  "And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho."

Not only were they circumcised at Gilgal, they also kept the passover there. Consistent with the spiritual significance of their crossing Jordan, and being circumcised in preparation for taking possession of their inheritance, this passover was in many respects different from the one kept forty years before in Egypt.  There, it was in anticipation of deliverance from bondage; here, it is in commemoration of that deliverance; but more, it is in anticipation of an inheritance to be received and enjoyed.  The Lord's supper is the fulfillment of the type, for it combines both thoughts.  In it we celebrate our deliverance from spiritual bondage, and we anticipate the Lord's return, which will usher us into the full enjoyment of our heavenly inheritance.  In the passover in Egypt the emphasis was upon judgment and death; but in the passover at Gilgal the emphasis is upon resurrection.  We must die to the old life before we can enjoy the new.

We have noted that the other name of Jericho is "city of palm trees," this latter meaning speaking of righteousness.  The practical lesson of their eating the passover there is that righteousness is required of all who would keep that feast in a proper spirit, for to eat it with sin unconfessed, repented of and forsaken, is to engage in a mere religious ritual which is an abomination to God.

5:11.  "And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day."

The roast lamb eaten during Israel's last night in Egypt; the manna eaten during the forty years in the desert; and the old corn of Canaan eaten in the land, all portray Christ as our spiritual food presented in the written Word, but from different perspectives.

The roast lamb represents Him as the One Who supplies the power needed to honor God amid all the circumstances of daily living - doing our earthly jobs to His glory; fulfilling our responsibilities to our families; obeying those appointed to make and enforce the laws governing our society, and everything else that pertains to our lives as men, who though citizens of heaven, must live for a little while here on earth.  Briefly, it is Christ for our bodily needs.

The manna represents Him as the One Who supplies the power needed to honor God in a world that for us has become a spiritual desert.  It is only as we nourish ourselves on the written Word, which is the revelation of Him Who is the living Word, that we find the power to resist the lure of the world's wealth, fame, ease, and pleasure, etc.  It is only as strengthened by that "manna" that we can pursue our journey through this world as pilgrims and strangers hurrying through the enemy's land on our way home.  The manna represents Christ meeting the need of our souls.

But the corn of Canaan represents a higher apprehension of Christ.  It represents Him as the One Who nourishes our spirits.  As we progress beyond knowing Him as the sufficiency for the needs of the body and soul, we learn that He is also the Power Who imparts the spiritual vigor that enables us to "mount up with wings as eagles" so that in His strength we can route the enemy, take possession of "Canaan," and enjoy our inheritance even here on earth.

For Israel, these were three separate experiences; but for us, Christ is "Lamb, Manna, and Corn" all at the same time, because as to our bodies we are in Egypt, as to our souls we are in the Wilderness, and as to our spirits we are in Canaan, all at the same time.  The needs of the body, soul, and spirit are contemporaneous, and Christ presented in the written Word is the spiritual Food for all three.

5:12.  "And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year."

In this we learn that there is to be spiritual development.  We are to "Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pe 3:18).  Spiritual "milk" has a place in the life of each believer, as the roast lamb and the manna had a place in the lives of the Israelites; but the corn of Canaan was their permanent food.  As long as we are on earth we will never outgrow the need of the Word as it relates to the body and soul; but God's ideal is that we progress quickly to the point where this use of it becomes subservient to its use as the "Corn of Canaan," i.e., where our comprehension of its literal and practical worth is transcended by our appreciation of its spiritual value.  The almost universal ignorance of Biblical typology is the sad proof that only a relative few know anything of the Word as the "old corn of the land."  Sadder still is the fact that many professed believers deny the legitimacy of such a method of study, and accuse those who have learned its worth, of engaging in flights of fancy.  Refusal to recognize its value, however, doesn't diminish its worth, but rather robs that believer of the equivalent of Canaan's riches, and contributes to his own continuing spiritual immaturity.

The very fact that "the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land," and that the fruit of Canaan then became their regular food, simply confirms that once a believer has tasted the written Word as portrayed by the fruit of Canaan, he will find it abundantly sufficient not only for the needs of his body and soul, but also for his spirit.

Another practical lesson to be learned from these first experiences in Canaan has to do with God's order for our lives.  As we have noted, baptism is the NT counterpart of circumcision.  A believer's first act of obedience should be to submit to being baptized.

After being circumcised they ate the passover which we have seen to be the OT type of the Lord's supper.  Many professing Christians are willing, are indeed eager, to eat that supper, but they are not willing to be baptized, claiming that their having been baptized as infants is sufficient, and failing to understand that Scripture knows nothing of infant baptism.  It is for believers only, and is the first ordinance to which the believer is to submit following his conversion.   Believer's baptism (the only one God recognizes) is as much a divine ordinance as is the Lord's supper (these are in fact the only two ordinances given to the Church), and the divine order is that baptism comes first.  Since those seeking fellowship in the local church are for the most part ignorant of Scriptural order, it is the responsibility of the elders, not only to make known that order, but to require obedience.  It is not to be left to the discretion of the novice believer to pick and choose what part of God's order he will accept and what he will reject.

After eating the passover they "ate the old corn of the land."  Not till then did "the captain of the host of the Lord (Christ Himself)" appear to lead them in the warfare that would employ them for seven years (representative of the whole of the believer's life).  The truth being taught here is that he who would go forth to serve must fulfill four conditions: (1) he must not be indulging in sin, that being the truth portrayed by circumcision, (2) he must manifest personal obedience in regard to God's order, which was first circumcision (the putting off of the deeds of the flesh), then the keeping of the passover (the weekly remembrance of the Lord's death in the eating of the Lord's Supper), (3) he must be fed with the Word, portrayed in their eating the old corn of the land, and (4) he must have Christ always before him as Captain, portrayed in the one who appeared to Joshua as "captain of the host of the Lord."                                              

It is instructive that God has appointed the first day of the week as the one on which the Lord's supper is to be eaten, see Ac 20:7; Lk 24:30; Le 24:8.  God's order is that baptized believers (and only such) come in on the first day of each week to eat the Lord's supper, and only then do they go out to serve, and he who having learned that order, refuses to obey, makes worthless whatever service he may think he is rendering.

5:13.  "And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?"  

5:14.  "And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come.  And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?

This was a theophany.  The "man" was the Lord Jesus Christ appearing in human form.

The irreverence that characterizes so much of professing Christendom is rebuked by Joshua's attitude.  When we pray we should remember that the one to Whom we speak is the God in whose presence the angels bow; and when we read the Bible we should remember that the One speaking to us from its pages is that same almighty God.  When we sit at the Lord's table we should remember that though invisible to human eyes, He Who presides there is the Lord Jesus Christ; and likewise, when we speak of Him, it should be with reverence.  In fact, we should never forget that we are his ambassadors, and should conduct ourselves with the dignity becoming those privileged to enjoy such honor.  Joshua's question also reminds us that perfect obedience is the only proper response of the creature to the Creator.

5:15.  "And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy.  And Joshua did so."

The significance of the loosed shoe will be better understood when we remember that as that which separates the foot from the ground, the shoe speaks of the separation that is to be maintained between the believer and this evil world through which we pass as pilgrims and strangers on our way home to heaven.  Where the Lord is, however, there can be no evil, for evil can't exist in His presence.  The removal of the shoe therefore is the symbolic acknowledgment of that fact.  The emblem of separation isn't needed on such ground, so it is to be removed.  

The question has been asked, Since Joshua represents Christ in resurrection as Captain of our salvation leading us into the enjoyment of our spiritual blessings here on earth, who or what is represented by this angelic captain? Having found no explanation better than that given by the late F.W. Grant, I quote, "If Joshua already speaks of Christ in us, it may seem strange that we should have Another introduced here, higher than Joshua, and the real leader of the people.... Here if Joshua represent Christ in us, it may be necessary, because of our readiness to mistake, to guard this by showing us another Christ external to us to Whom ... the Christ within us yields the first place.... We are prone to go astray, and need the warning emphasized that there is a Voice external to us altogether, to which before all we must be in subjection.  Christ is everywhere the same, and His Voice, wherever heard, must be of equal authority; but just on that very account, what is of Christ in us will conform itself to, and own, the authority of the Christ without (outside) us, speaking by His Spirit through His Word," Numerical Bible - Joshua, p.46. 

[Joshua 6]

 

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     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
2000-2005 James Melough
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